Volleyball drills for middle school and adults: fun volleyball drills for youth

Newer players need drills that focus on the five basic skills in volleyball: spiking, serving, setting, blocking, and digging. The offensive skills are setting, serving, and spiking. In defense, you need blocking and digging if you want to keep the ball in the air.

What are the 5 main volleyball skills and drills?

1/ Spiking is pushing the ball over the net when you attack. This needs to be done with a lot of precision and power. In some instances, you have to evade a block so this can be challenging. 

2/ Serving is restarting the match after your team has scored a point. This is done behind your court. You have to push the ball over the net at once and aim it inside the court of the other team. There are several techniques to do this, from using a flat hand to add accuracy to using a bent hand to add speed. 

3/ Setting is giving an assist to the player that is going to spike. This is a challenge as you need to give the ball at the right height and speed.

4/ Blocking is stopping the ball at the net. This is done by jumping and holding your hands over the net. It is not allowed to touch the net so players have to be careful. In some instances, multiple players work together to create a  block.

5/ Digging is keeping the ball in the air after the other team has attacked. The goal is to slow down the ball and pass it to the player that is going to set. This can be challenging as you might have to dive to reach the ball. 

 Each player on the court has a specialization. For example, some players focus on blocking the ball. Given that the players have to turn around during the match and take every position on the court, every player needs to be good at the five basic skills if they want to add value to the team. You can be great at attacking but if you can’t dig when the ball comes your way, the other team is going to use this weakness. 

5 exercises you would include in a volleyball warmup

It is essential that you warm up your whole body before the training or match starts. This makes sure that you and your body are ready for what is about to come. This is especially needed when it is cold in the sporting arena.  Some of these drills are done without a ball and some players hate this but it is part of warming up. This takes about fifteen to twenty minutes. It shouldn’t last too much longer as you need time for the other drills as well. 

1/The first drill that I would include is running up and down the court. A lot of volleyball players are competitive and you can push them to run faster by timing their runs. 

2/Warming up your fingers is also important. This can be done by holding the ball next to the ball and rolling it up and down. Let’s see how Olympic medal winner for team USA, Rachael Adams explains this in more detail:

3/Passing back and forth with another player. You can start out slow and gradually speed up the passes. It is important that the ball doesn’t fall on the ground. Every time you shout, they have to pass. You can also keep a score of how often players drop the ball to compare pairs and see which players performed the best.

4/ Everyone on the team has to be present and avoid distractions. A team cheer can help with this. Everyone is coming together in a circle and one player shouts and the rest follows. 

5/ You can do some jumping drills in which the players have to jump a few times in the air in rapid succession. The goal is to jump as high as they can. 

The following drills are more high intensity:

Volleyball drills for 12 and 14 year olds:  

A lot of players have already been playing volleyball for a while at this age. It is also possible that new players will join so we can go over the basics to make sure that everyone knows how to pass and defend. 

Passing: players are standing in a circle. They have to pass the ball to each other by using underhand and overhand passes. The first passes are quite slow but gradually the speed is increased. This can be done by using music that indicates the rhythm of the passes. The goal is to make sure that the ball doesn’t fall on the ground. This drill is a challenge for newer players but also for more advanced ones. 

Setting:  This is quite similar to passing. Two players team-up. One player passes to the other player and the last one has to give an assist. This means that an overhand pass is used to send the ball higher. The first pass can be quite bad to make it harder for the setter. This will also happen during a match and the setter has to be able to deal with this. It can frustrate players but it is part of the game. 

We also want to work on some defensive skills.

Blocking:  Here jumping drills can help a lot. The first player is standing on one side of the net, the second on the other side. The first player throws the ball over the net and the second player has to stop the ball. Using the right technique is essential as a lot of players don’t use the right approach. Let’s look at how Rachael Adams explains this below:

Digging: This is once again practiced by taking two players together. One player throws the ball to the other player. The second player has to use an underhand pass to control the ball and pass it back to the first one. At first, the ball can be thrown quite close to the second player. After a while,  it is possible to make it more challenging by throwing it further and further away from the player. Eventually, this player will have to dive and slide over the floor to catch the ball. 

Volleyball for beginners adults

Beginners can use the drills that we discussed before. They can also work on their attack with the following drills:

Serving:  Serving is standing behind your court and aiming the ball inside of the court of the other team. One player can be ready to sere and the other player has to catch the ball and send it back. You have two main types of serving: a floater and a spin serve. A floater means that you hit the middle of the ball with the palm of your hand. The goal is to aim the ball very precisely. A spin serve is hitting the top of the ball by curling your hand around it. The goal of this type of serve is to add a lot of speed to the ball. Both of these can be done standing of you can add a jump as well. Getting good at this requires a lot of repetition. Let’s look at how Olympic medal winner Jordan Larson explains how to do a floater while jumping (also called a jump serve).

Spiking:   Spiking is pushing the ball over the net. This can be practiced by setting a basket on the other side of the net. Players have to aim to get the ball in the basket. Once they succeed, the basked moves again. This trains players to find the right balance between power and precision. It is essential that players use a diversity of attacks as it is easy to defend against a team that uses the same attack over and over again. You can use a tip instead of a spike as well. This means that you drop the ball just behind the net. This can surprise the defense and be an easy way to score a point. 

It is also possible to let other players block so that you learn how to deal with this. It can be quite challenging at first as a block can be right in front of you. 

To conclude, we can state that we shared some drills to work on each of the five main volleyball skills. From serving, setting, digging, blocking to spiking. Each volleyball player needs to master all of these. It takes a lot of repetition to get really good at them. This can be quite boring but you have to keep pushing so that it becomes easy to perform them all. Players often specialize in one of these skills but you still need to be able to perform them all during a match.